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Britain Zimbabwe Society names winner of 2019 young researcher prize

The Britain Zimbabwe Society (BZS) has awarded its annual young researcher prize to Roselyne Masamha, a lecturer in learning disabilities and nursing at the University of Hull in the UK.

Roselyne Masamha, named young researcher of the year 2019.
Roselyne Masamha, named young researcher of the year 2019.

The prize, which is offered in partnership with the Oxford African Studies Centre, recognises and encourages research and publication endeavour and excellence by early career researchers.

Masamha is also a Doctor of Clinical Education student at the University of Leeds. She will receive her award at the BZS annual research day, which will be held at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, on Saturday 15 June 2019.

BZS president Dr Knox Chitiyo said: “We are pleased to announce Roselyne as the winner of the 2019 young researcher prize. Her research is at the interface of science and society; it investigates the politics of knowledge production in relation to an African identity within nurse education. The judges were impressed by the originality of Roselyne’s research and its potential applicability.”

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Masamha welcomed the award, saying: “I feel very honoured to have been awarded the young researcher prize for 2019. It comes at an intense period as I am finalising my thesis for submission and provides some timely motivation and encouragement. I am very grateful for the nomination and recognition as well as for the support of my supervisors, Helen Bradbury and Dr Rebecca O’Rourke.”

Her research focuses on the nursing education experiences of Zimbabweans in the UK in the context of postcolonial dynamics, migration, African identities and knowledge. The research makes a case for African knowledges and for personal experience as a knowledge form, pushing back against academic institutions’ tendency to constrain what qualifies for scholarly recognition.

“At a broader level, my research examines the UK as an environment that frames migrant education experiences and joins the calls for academic institutions to decolonise teaching and learning,” she added.

This year’s research day will be held under the theme “Creativity and Innovation – Research and Resilience in Zimbabwean Arts and Science”.

It will explore some key findings of researchers and practitioners in the history, role, achievements, challenges and futures of arts and science in Zimbabwe and its diaspora in the 20th and 21st century. The symposium will take an intergenerational approach and explore the intersections between arts, science, finance and the economy.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Natalie Jabangwe, one of Zimbabwe’s most innovative business leaders and CEO of Ecocash Zimbabwe, an innovative mobile payment solution that enables customers to complete financial transactions directly from their mobile phones.

Jabangwe is a member of Zimbabwe’s Presidential Advisory Council and the UN Secretary-General’s Taskforce on Digital Financing. In 2018 she was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was also a nominee for the All Africa Business Leaders Awards.

Formed in 1981 as a network of friends of Zimbabwe in the belief that a new relationship was needed between the peoples of the two countries, the BZS is one of the oldest Zimbabwe-focused voluntary organisations in the UK. It supports people-to-people links, informs and educates, promotes understanding and respect, and encourages open discussion and debate.